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According to the latest poll into password habits conducted by security vendor Symantec, some 26 percent of folk have told their spouse what their passwords are. Perhaps less surprisingly, 12 percent have told their IT admin and 5 percent their boss. However, why 10 percent let their friends and 8 percent their co-workers know is beyond me. Do people not actually understand what a password is for, and if not for keeping access secure and private then why bother in the first place?

Mind you, of the 400 people who took part in the password survey, 23 percent use their web browsers to keep track of multiple passwords, 60 percent don't change them regularly and 3 percent even use the word 'password' as their password and admit as much! Mind you. we've been down the dumbass password road all too often. It seems that people, on the whole, just do not take computer security seriously enough, or seriously at all for that matter.

Kevin Haley from Symantec, comments: "Now, I don’t doubt that 3 per cent of us have accounts where ‘password’ is the password, but people, why on earth would you admit it? Thanks for your honesty, but shame on you for doing it. For the rest of you that are still using middle names, birth dates and pet names, what are you thinking? Security by obscurity? That no one but your friends and family could possibly know your pet’s name? Well, if you use a social networking site, I bet it can be figured out in less than 20 minutes".

Symantec advises that in order to make passwords easy to remember yet hard to crack users should:

  • Use a mix of numbers, letters, punctuation, and symbols
  • Take a word or phrase that’s meaningful to you and alter it
  • Replace the first few characters in your password with numbers or symbols
  • Avoid personal information, repetition and sequences
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